Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default The ABSOLUTE Mama of West Coast road trips!

    Hi all

    Having the rest of the year not having to work (I know!!) I've decided to leave the UK winter behind and I’m lucky enough to be about to embark on the holiday I’ve always dreamed of. Me, myself and I on a grand tour of California and surrounding attractions.

    Posted below is a route/itinerary I intend to follow UNLESS you good people here on RTA tell me differently!

    More importantly, if anyone is willing and able to offer suggestions around this route, I would be eternally grateful. In particular, I would welcome advice on:

    - Better route choices than the ones I’ve made
    - ‘Don’t miss’ suggestions – I’d hate to miss anything!
    - Good places to stay / eat
    - Most importantly, time-wise I’ve budgeted approx two months to do this – if anyone has any advice on whether this is feasible, fantastic
    - (Also, if anyone can look at parts of this journey and say “that’s a two day drive (or whatever) – you should think about overnighting at XXX” once again, I’d welcome any suggestions)


    OK, here’s the current route / itinerary:

    San Francisco for 5 days (hotel booked) Sept 25th to 30th

    Rent a car

    Drive across through Sacramento to Lake Tahoe area – spend a day or so there

    Then zig-zag down through the Sierra Nevada passes:

    • West on Hwy 50 (Echo Summit) to Placerville
    • South on 49 to Angels Camp
    • East on 4 (Ebbetts Pass, Monitor Pass) to Topaz Lake
    • South on 89 then back West on 108 (Sonora Pass)

    Then it’s Yosemite time! Will be spending two days (at least) ‘doing’ Yosemite

    Head out east over the Tioga Pass to stay at Lee Vining or somewhere around Mono Lake

    South on the 395 to Mammoth Lakes, Devil’s Postpile and Bishop

    North then east on Hwy 6 (Montgomery Pass) to Tonopah

    South on H95 and then south-west on 267 into Death Valley, Scotty’s Castle, Ubehebe Crater, Zabriskie Point, Badwater, Dante’s Peak and all that!

    Head east to Pahrump

    Continue east, skirting north of Las Vegas towards Zion Nat Park

    Then Bryce Canyon Nat Pak

    Then Grand Staircase NP

    Lake Powell

    Grand Canyon North Rim

    Grand Canyon South Rim

    Some well-earned R&R in Las Vegas and trips out to Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon

    Leaving Las Vegas (ha!) head west on I15 to Barstow

    Then head back north on the 395 to China Lake and Pinnacles Nat Monument

    Carry on north on 395 as far as Whitney Portal

    No choice but to turn back and head south on 395 then west over J41 (Sherman Pass) to Giant Sequoia Nat Monument and detour to Isabella Lake

    Continue north through Springville and hope I’m not too late for Kings Canyon Nat Park (will probably be right on cusp of winter closing – late October)

    Would like to get to Mono Hot Springs (see winter closing, above)

    Then west to Fresno and down Hwy 9 to Bakersfield

    Take the 58 out to Mojave, Boron and Edwards AFB and back to Barstow

    Then I40 out to Amboy Crater

    South then west on the 62 to Twentynine Palms & Joshua Tree Nat Park

    On to Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs

    Down through San Jacinto Nat Monument to Salton Sea

    Then head west off to San Diego for more R&R

    Then it’s up the coast – San Diego to Los Angeles

    Hwy 101 to Santa Barbara then on the Pacific Coast Highway 1 (PCH) to San Luis Obispo

    ‘Do’ the Big Sur coastline

    Through Carmel, Monterey (Aquarium), Pebbel Beach, 17-mile Drive, and Santa Cruz

    Back to San Francisco

    Keel over with exhaustion!

    I then have about 10 days to fill before flying to New York on Dec 10th. I will either spend that doing a mini-tour north of San Fran (any suggestions please?) or I’ll fly east earlier and spend a week in either Boston or Washington, visiting friends.

    And that's it!!

    Like I say, any advice, suggestions, do's and don't's etc, I'd welcome them all.

    I will, of course, be blogging like there's no tomorrow! I already owe sites like this, TripAdvisor and one or two others a huge debt - and I intend to pay it back in full, with my new digital SLR and my trusty little laptop in my rucksack!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Doing It All

    Well, your list of things to see and do in California seems pretty complete, and you can certainly cover it all in 3 months, However....

    It is extremely difficult to comment on trips when we have nothing more to go on than a list of places that will be visited. We can only assume that you've chosen these for reasons that appeal to you and that you will find them at least interesting. But we don't know what's driving you.

    Be sure to get in your visits to northern California, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas early in your trip. By mid-November things are going to start getting very chilly in these areas and you are likely to see a few severe snow storms and the occasional road closure. By that time, I'd make sure that I was on the Las Vegas, Arizona, southern and coastal California portions. For that same reason (snow and cold) I'd not plan on going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It too closes for the winter about this time.

    We look forward to hearing how it all goes.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Two months!

    Yeah, I'm green. :) I, too, struggle with giving you specific advice. You've certainly done your homework and have picked a wide and interesting range of places to visit. And, with two months, you have plenty of time to meander and enjoy the routes in-between, talk to people along the way to get local feedback in order to add things they suggest, and relax/explore as you desire each day. Sounds sublime.

    It's hard to say what to do with that 10 extra days. If you think it's unlikely that you'll get back to the West Coast soon, I'd use that time to explore more before heading back east. But visiting friends can be nice, too. Of course, you could split it 5 and 5.

    You might enjoy going north from San Francisco up CA-1. It's a rugged, beautiful drive with great views of the Pacific Ocean. You could spend some time enjoying the various parks to see the Redwoods. Amazing trees. You might also squeeze in some time at Napa Valley. You could easily do both in about 5 days.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    It is extremely difficult to comment on trips when we have nothing more to go on than a list of places that will be visited. We can only assume that you've chosen these for reasons that appeal to you and that you will find them at least interesting. But we don't know what's driving you.
    Fair point AZBuck. Chiefly what's driving me is seeing the myriad of natural wonders. I like my photography, I like my landscapes and my "wow" moments, when Ma Nature decides to show who the real artist is.

    Checking out towns and cities and meeting people and eating good food, drinking good beer and wine etc are the icing on the cake.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Be sure to get in your visits to northern California, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas early in your trip. By mid-November things are going to start getting very chilly in these areas and you are likely to see a few severe snow storms and the occasional road closure. By that time, I'd make sure that I was on the Las Vegas, Arizona, southern and coastal California portions. For that same reason (snow and cold) I'd not plan on going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It too closes for the winter about this time.
    My idea exactly - that's why the plan is essentially clockwise. Get the northern, inland bits done in October, get south and on to the coast in November.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    You might enjoy going north from San Francisco up CA-1. It's a rugged, beautiful drive with great views of the Pacific Ocean. You could spend some time enjoying the various parks to see the Redwoods. Amazing trees. You might also squeeze in some time at Napa Valley. You could easily do both in about 5 days.
    You're psychic Judy!

    In between revising the main itinerary today (aaaargh, the maps, my eyes . . !) I have spent time reading up on doing just that.

    It's a distinct possibility.

  6. Default Oh, forgot to say . . .

    . . . thank you both for your responses, of course!

  7. Default Oh, and . . .

    One specific question that has come up from studying the route in more detail, is this:

    In some postings and blogs, people have mentioned a Red Rock Canyon on the road between Zion NP and Bryce NP.

    Is this the same Red Rock Canyon that everyone in Vegas is talking about when they say "you must visit Red Rock Canyon while you're in Vegas"?

    If so, I probably only want to visit it once!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default There are at least a dozen "Red Rock Parks"

    Quote Originally Posted by Smudgeboy View Post
    Is this the same Red Rock Canyon that everyone in Vegas is talking about when they say "you must visit Red Rock Canyon while you're in Vegas"?
    No. Actually, there are at least a dozen "Red Rock Parks" within 500 miles of Las Vegas. The two that you are referring to are:

    Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area -- just west of the strip (Spring Mountains)
    Red Canyon -- on Highway 12 in Utah.

    Mark

  9. Default Guru!

    Never was the title more apt!

    Thanks buddy.

Similar Threads

  1. irish family planning west coast road trip
    By redfive in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-03-2012, 11:48 AM
  2. Please help west coast road trip
    By Bylan in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-02-2008, 10:24 AM
  3. West coast road trip - May/July 08
    By Sun Chaser in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-14-2007, 03:55 PM
  4. Just back from a 2700 mile trip
    By RevJim in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11-18-2007, 01:24 PM
  5. Need Help Planning West Coast Road Trip!!
    By sarahdrake22 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-30-2007, 07:13 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES